Casual games with squid in them are the new hotness. No, I'm totally serious. There was Halloween Squid, Squibble, Squids, and now, Squid Drop:

What a delightful excuse to talk about squid science! Now, where can I possibly find science in this app?

A-ha! Crabs*!

Anyone who's ever kept an octopus knows that octopuses loooove them some tasty crabmeat. It makes sense, because octopuses and crabs both live on the seafloor, right? So they crawl around together amongst the rocks and then--chomp.

But what about squid--do they eat crabs, as proposed in Squid Drop? I've made a big deal before about the fact that squid are not seafloor dwellers, but creatures of the open water. So where would they find a crab? Obviously, we need a nektonic crab.

Enter Pleuroncodes planipes, the Pelagic Red Crab. These dudes don't crawl, they swim. And if you followed the link to Wikipedia, you might have seen them described as "a bright red animal." That is TRUTH. I couldn't believe how bright they were the first time I saw them. They are like little stoplights of the sea. Delicious little stoplights (from the point of view of squid and tuna and everything else who likes to eat them).

They are pretty common in Mexico, and the Humboldt squid down there just gobble them up. Off the western Baja peninsula, in fact, researcher Unai Markaida finds that pelagic red crabs are the primary component of the Humboldt squid diet. Go here and scroll down to see a crazy picture of Humboldt squid feeding on red crabs at the sea surface!

Oh hey, I just thought of another science tidbit from Squid Drop. Tune in next time to find out if squid really do sink . . . 

* 1.4.12 Update: I'm an idiot! T. Benjamin Larsen, creator of Squid Drop, gently pointed out that there are no crabs in the game. Somehow I read the game trailer as as "Pick up crabs for extra points" not "Pick up orbs for extra points." I've made a helpful illustration of my biology-blinded viewpoint:

Oh well, Pleuroncodes is still pretty cool.